Founded in 2014 when the Appalachian Women’s Fund and High Country Women’s Fund merged, the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge is based on the growing movement of collective giving. “The fact is, when you pool money together, you can enact change, and that’s our philosophy,” explains Executive Director Danielle Thuot. WFBR provides funds to organizations in the High Country that serve women and their families.
The fund does not provide direct services; instead, it fuels the work of other nonprofits through grants, advocacy, and community-building. Grant recipients from the past year provide everything from affordable feminine hygiene products and emergency shelters for domestic violence survivors to homeless prevention programs and girls empowerment circles.
Funds are mainly raised through events, and volunteers are the organization’s lifeblood. “It’s really a collaboration of women who want to make a difference,” says Thuot, who speaks with much passion and momentum for the cause. “It’s a domino effect of women who have an interest in making their community stronger through partnership and collaboration.”